Nick Pressler is the Blue Ridge Early College varsity soccer coach and not only spends time on the field working with his team, but spends time maintaining the field itself; including mowing, fertilizing, managing pesticides, aerating, marking, etc.
Pressler also teaches Agriculture at BREC and has a background in turf management and said it’s a challenge, but it’s worth it.
“It’s a challenge and there’s no irrigation, but the students help and it gives them a valuable skill in life,” said Pressler. “We’re out here all the time and there’s a still a lot more we want to do.”
The Jackson County Recreational Maintenance Department helps with school grounds and athletic fields, but Pressler started taking over the maintenance of the soccer field in 2017, said BREC Athletic Director Tim Mayse.
“Nick has dedicated a lot of hours to maintaining our soccer field,” said Mayse. “He puts in time during his planning period, after school, and on the weekends. He goes above and beyond to ensure that our athletes have a respectable field to play on.”
Pressler is not maintaining the field solely for the soccer team. The field is also used by the entire school; which includes elementary, middle, and high schools, all the P.E. classes, and any other outdoor activities.
Mayse said Pressler’s commitment sets a good example for his students.
“Winning is always an important part of your program, and we are very successful in soccer,” said Mayse. “However, instilling the values of hard work and dedication in your athletes are just as important. Nick embodies that as a coach, both by winning and showing dedication to our team and school.”
Mayse added that you don’t see that kind of commitment every day.
“Our coaching staff is very dedicated to their teams and our athletics coaching staff supports all of our sports programs,” he said. “From my experience at other schools, you don’t always have a unified front among all of your coaches within your athletic department. We have that unified front at Blue Ridge.”
BREC Principle Tracie Metz said Pressler’s dedication is admirable and sets a good example.
“We are very fortunate to have Coach Pressler who pays attention to the fine details and makes our facility second-to-none,” said Metz. “Coach Mayse has really worked hard over the years to secure coaches who go above and beyond for our students.”
Pressler said he plans on starting a turf management program at school in the future.
“It gives the kids a hands-on chance to learn how to manage a field,” said Pressler. “It’s a valuable skill.”
Pictured at the top of the article is Nick Pressler mowing BREC’s soccer field at 7 a.m. the day BREC played Highlands in varsity soccer.
Editor’s Note: I didn’t edit the sun like that, the morning mist was pretty thick and gave it that ghosty vibe.